Summer Films

Summer is almost over. I can’t believe it’s already mid-August. You find yourself thinking, “what have I done this summer?” Of course, if you are a working professional, your schedule does not change just because it is summer. But if you are a student, you have a lot of time to do whatever you want. One thing in common for a working professional & a student is that they both can spare some time to watch a film. This is why many great movies come out during any summer seasons. This summer was not an exception. This summer I watched several good movies. My favorite was Mission Impossible: Fall Out. Oh boy, this movie was Amazing. Tom Cruise was doing so many action stunts that were surreal. I read from a magazine that he broke his foot during one of his shootings.

As I was watching many movies this summer, one question kept popping in my head. That is, how are these movies filmed? I knew they used movie film cameras to shoot the scenes, but I wondered how these film cameras worked. Now, these days many 35mm film production cameras are replaced by the digital cameras, but many directors in Hollywood still use the photographic camera to take rapid continuous photos on a film. These cameras are slightly different because they take a serious of images. They don’t take one photo at a time. I learned from Wiki that this is accomplished through an intermittent mechanism. This mechanism is a device that film is keeping up with up-to-date technology and then held in place for a short time in a film production camera or movie projector. When we, audience, watch a movie, we are looking at a specific speed, called the frame rate. We think that each shot is continuous motion instead of a collective of a single shot. Pretty cool stuff.

I can’t imagine how many films are used to create one movie. The editor must spend hours and hours editing the parts with the continuous motion of shots to develop flawless screenshots for the audience to enjoy. I never thought much of it, but as I learn about the film camera industry, I started to appreciate more. I am not a great actor so I can’t be in the front of the screen, but I am very interested in learning more about film cameras and being a producer. I may pick one up a film camera store and start shooting individual films for myself. Capturing the beautiful images and making movies seem like a novel thing to do. Here is why. Going back to Mission Impossible. I remember watching the first Mission Impossible movie back in 1999. Okay. 1999!!! Some of you may not have been born. You see, we can’t change or go back to the past but we can remember what Tom Cruise used to look like and appreciate his previous action movie and what he did as a young actor. Now close to 2019, we saw the same actor who matured, acted just like he did in the past and the story of Mission Impossible keeps going. We remember a man and his life together through the movie. I think that’s a novel thing to do. Summer is almost over. But I am glad that I was able to watch one of the greatest sequence movies all the time.

Developing Films in Local Stores

Most retail and drug stores in local American towns were able to develop film, and they returned the negatives. I remember my mom used to collect the negatives and collect them “just-in-case” when the film photos get destroyed. I never understood why but now she is gone, I wish to have the negatives so I can develop those film photos again. This is another topic for another time.

What I want to focus on today is the fact that many of these retail and drug stores no longer develop film anymore. Sadly, there are many moms and pop retail and drug stores no longer survived the big chain stores and most film developing stores no longer exist due to the growing digital cameras industry. The popular darkroom is no longer available for any consumer to walk-in and asks for their 35mm camera film to be developed. It’s getting harder and harder for the film camera enthusiasts to find the places to develop their beloved negatives except online film developing websites. I am here to share some of my thoughts and places that the enthusiasts can still develop films. If you want to learn and find out how to develop films you can also check out this article I read at

The first place is Walmart. The film developing service can be different from each Walmart store. Before I wrote this article, my friend contacted me and advised that his Walmart store near his house did not have the service. However, the store near my house has it. The best thing you can do is to check the Walmart website and make sure before you visit your local store. One disappointing factor is that Walmart stops returning negatives to save on their postage costs. They give customers scanned images on a CD.

Since 2015, Walgreens stopped providing their film developing service. However, don’t get too disappointed as the store subs out the work to a third party film developing service. Please note that you won’t be able to get the negatives back and you won’t be able to order the developing service online.

Lastly, the CVS store service is similar to Walgreen. They outsource their service to a 3rd party. Some folks commented that the order takes longer than any other places. They said that it took more than 3 weeks for their films to be developed. There is no online film developing service as well.

Target, Costco, and Sam’s Club completely stopped providing their film developing service. It’s ironic because these stores sell film cameras and sell instant film cameras at a reasonable price. These companies don’t want to spend money on themselves to provide the service for very selective customers. It makes sense.

The online film developing services are good too. Now these days, this is where the service is moving to. If you want to learn how to develop film at home, there are many YouTube videos you can watch to create the darkroom environment at home. Of course, you would need right chemicals and the right space (without lights) to develop the film. What’s your preference and how would you develop your film photos?

Polaroid OneStep 2 i-Type Camera

There are many good instant cameras out there. I like Fujifilm products personally. However, there is a new Polaroid’s original OneStep 2 has been catching my attention. Last week, I was at a local Target store and checked out the camera myself. This was a real deal. The OneStep 2 is the newest model from Polaroid, and that has a classic design with a modern feel to it. The camera is super easy to use, and the instant camera works like a charm. Out of the box, it is ready to tackle many adventures with you. The updated powerful lens and it’s bright flash give you great shots from every angle and every place. The reason why I like this camera is that Polaroid upgraded Viewfinder from the previous model. The other generation had a good viewfinder, but this one steals the show. The rechargeable battery is a huge plus.

Another positive thing that is going for Polaroid is that this camera uses Polaroid 600 films which have various film color types. Original, Rose Gold, Pastel Gradient, and Black & White. Photographers can keep the photo experience interesting by swapping different film colors. Many people love this function because they can change the mood of their settings. My personal favorite is black & white. The photos look classic and beautiful all the time.

Some people prefer the instant films to be smaller, but the true photographers prefer the original instant film size which is square – like the Polaroids make. These folks love sharing the photos immediately after they take the shots and giving away to their loved ones. But don’t give away too much. It can add up and do some damage on your wallet. The bigger film (square) than the other smaller films means it will cost more.

In conclusion, I think Polaroid has done a great job upgrading Polaroid Original 9003. The Polaroid film prices can be different based on the film sizes, but if you own one of the Polaroids, you won’t be disappointed. I recommend the new version because the features are much better for a slight price difference. You can get the new one for $120 whereas the older model still costs $100. If you have any wedding party or special occasions coming up, I highly recommend getting this camera. You will be able to capture beautiful memories and share them with your friends and family right away.

Look, I get that everyone takes photos with their smartphones now these days. It’s convenient and it takes great shots. But there is something special about taking photos with your camera – like the instant film cameras. Not only it brings out different apertured photos than digitally shot photos, but it also reminds you that it can be shared with your loved ones immediately. Keeping these photos on your desk at work, your school locker, or in your car, rather than the photos being stored in a phone which will be in your pocket will be very special and bring out the best smile during the day. Trust Me!


35mm camera film roles

Before the beginning of the digital photography, most people used 35mm film cameras. Along with these cameras, there is a photographic film that goes hand in hand with the camera. Let me ask young generation folks out there. Do you know what this is and how does it work? Well, let me try to explain this as simple as possible. Let me shed some light on this film developing process. I mean literally. Have you ever seen a white paper turn yellow after a few weeks later? The reason is the white paper is sensitive to light. When white color is exposed to light, it fades and turns to yellow. The photographic film works a similar way.

The photographic film is a sheet of a see-through plastic film base coated with some chemical compounds. There is an emulsion layer that has the gelatin and the silver halide crystals. The crystals are a very critical component because it changes the resolution and contrast of the film photographs. Also, there is a stable chemical, polymer. With these chemical components and how they react with lights, the photos can be developed. I forgot one more thing. There is another critical part. The film photos typically produced in dark rooms. As mentioned about the white paper, the films are developed by burning on this light-sensitive paper and rigorously going through the multiple chemicals.


It’s pretty cool. Isn’t it? How does it get applied in actual photography shooting situation? The film camera lens brings in the light onto the photographic film. The lens controls the exposure of how much light on the film. The aperture expands and lets the light passes through the diameter of the camera lens hole. It’s really about how much the light reflects through the film lens and gets burned in the film.

As you can imagine, developing these films can be very difficult at home. First, the room must be pitch dark. There should not be any light come through when you are developing these films. Second, most people would not carry the chemical components at home. Lastly, you have to be very patient to get these films developed. My suggestion is that you send it out to a vendor where they can simply do the job for you for a reasonable price. You can find some locations like CVS or Walgreens (Check the locations prior) to get the job completed for you. You can also find some mail in places where they can develop the film.

There is a film camera website that gives you this great information and tips how to get films developed. You can read about the options and let me know what you think it is the best option for an average Joe. Obviously, this is a lot more complicated than simple point & shoot with digital cameras and smartphones. There are great benefits of shooting with digital cameras. However, many enthusiastic photographers continue to choose analog cameras over digital cameras. Here are some reasons why. You can a very old rustic vintage look on photos. Film cameras are generally cheaper than the other options. The films can be developed in a fairly inexpensive way. I recommend that you give the film cameras try. Who knows you may pick up the film camera and become an expert one day with the knowledge of the photographic film development.



Fujifilm Instax Square SQ 6

If you are a camera enthusiast, mark your calendar for May 25. On this day, Fujifilm is going to release a square format film camera. This one will be a special one for anybody who loves taking photos at his/her special moments. Fujifilm is calling this one – the Instax Square SQ6. It is an instant film camera with a 1:1 aspect ration. The photos will print out in a square format (2.4-inch by 2.4-inch)

Fujifilm has been in the photography industry for a very long time. The name is well known to many photographers and they trust and rely on the company’s camera products. For many decades before the digital cameras became popular, the company focused on these film cameras and they were very good. In the past, the film cameras were the only option for the photographers. Today, there are many options and varieties for the photographers yet many people love the films. There are many reasons for choosing the film cameras. Mainly, people love the old, rustic, and dramatic photos. The company still makes these film cameras and they are one of the top manufacturers. The company has various business not only including medical imaging, diagnostic equipment, cosmetics, biologics manufacturing, stem cells, graphic art equipment, color paper, photocopier and printers, digital cameras, and etc. However, the color film is still very popular and favorable department to the public.

I am very interested the Instax Square SQ6 because I had a chance to play with a similar camera – Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10. And I loved it. The SQ 10 is very expensive for a square format camera. It costs you $279. But it’s an excellent camera because it is a hybrid between analog and digital. Do you know any other camera that’s analog and digital? It’s like the old meets the new generation of camera and slap them all together. Pretty impressive and the photos don’t lie. Each photo comes out as authentic and sharp images. Now we see different companies coming out with their version of square cameras, but I think Fujifilm does it the best.

The new Instax Square SQ6 does not have the digital part, but it will have some features that many people will like. First one is an auto-exposure control feature. This one is pretty nice for someone who doesn’t like controlling their exposure due to lack of photography skills or doesn’t like to change the setting for every single photo. The feature will allow you to manually adjust the settings for that perfect photo with balanced exposures.

The second feature is a sensor for capturing the surrounding light. The sensor will allow you detect the brightness and it will change the shutter speed. That’s like the digital camera feature that helps you to take great photos at any places. You can choose three different color filters – orange, green, and purple. The three colors bring out that retro vibe to your photos. It has another cool feature, and that has to do with a selfie mode. This mode allows you to adjust the focus and light as you take the close-up shots. A small mirror that is next to the lens will help you to make that perfect selfie photo. Don’t forget a built-in ten-second timer feature. It will allow you to set up your timer so that everyone can be part of the memory.

Lastly, there are other multiple shooting modes you can choose to take your photos. You can press the shutter button twice then the camera will superimpose two images onto a single film. This is called a double exposure mode. If you like taking close shots, Fujifilm company didn’t let you down. There is a macro mode that gets close as nearly 12 inches. You will be able to take some awesome close-up food photos. What about a landscape mode? Of course. You will be able to capture beautiful scenery shots on this camera.

Overall, this is going to be an excellent camera for anyone who loves taking photos. It’s not a digital camera, but it has many features that you will use and able to capture beautiful images in films. The Instax SQ6 comes in white, gray, and gold colors. Just like any other film cameras, you will need to buy films separately. You should be able to pick up a pack reasonably decent price. As mentioned earlier, circle the date. The Instax SQ6 will debut its beauty for $130 in the US.